Bangladesh's ready-made garment industry and its harsh working conditions have been the center of intense scrutiny for the past decade, especially following the massive death tolls of the Tazreen Fashions factory fire in 2012 and the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013. While lauded by many for its tremendous contributions to the Bangladeshi economy and its employment of primarily women, the garment industry is responsible for causing harm both to the women who work there and the local environment. Women workers are physically and verbally abused in the workplace for little pay, while the factories emit pollutants that contaminate the drinking water in surrounding areas and destroy crops. The global North, while being the main destination for exports from Bangladesh, refuses to intervene in a meaningful way to help the people who supply cheap goods for them, even in spite of highly publicized agreements to help improve factory safety, like the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. This paper will examine the Bangladeshi garment industry using an ecofeminist lens. Doing so helps to illustrate the various power relations involving gender, capitalism, and the environment that characterize the industry. These axes of power, all stemming from the same mindset of superiority, reinforce one another both ideologically and materially. Seeing how these different issues – including harassment, pollution, crop loss, and forced displacement – are connected will help to determine how to best solve each of these individual issues.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Humanities and Cultural Studies
Fakhoury, Yasmin, "An Ecofeminist Analysis of the Ready-made Garment Industry in Bangladesh" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 536.